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6 Unusual Ways in Which Color can Affect our Choices in Life

6 Unusual Ways in Which Color can Affect our Choices in Life

Color can affect us in great measures. Starting from our mood, emotions, to actions and words – color can significantly affect them, psychologists say. It is well known that certain colors have certain type of effects and meaning, such as white representing innocence, or that blue makes us calm, or that red makes us aggressive, passionate and alert.

However, not everyone believes this. Or not everyone consciously notices this. The whole topic of psychology of color has been a great trick used by marketing agencies, supermarkets, designers and the rest. It certainly paid off for them. And when you think about it, we have been under the influence of color all along. Just think about the clothes you are wearing, your hair color, your house, car and everything else. Aren’t those things in that specific color because you wanted them like that?

Clearly, color has power, both subconsciously and consciously. And, with that in mind, here are 6 unusual ways in which color can affect us.

1. It can make us more confident and sexually attractive

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Rocking a colorful outfit

    Little black dress? Red lipstick? It’s no wonder these two are the staples of beauty and fashion. Black and red have been voted the most confidence-inspiring colors, according to this survey. Both men and women would prefer wearing black to important dates or interviews. According to them, black is the biggest confidence booster.

    However, when it came specifically to first dates, women said they’d rather wear something red as it inspires passion and makes them feel sexy. When it came to men, whether it was a date or anything else, their color preference seemed to be blue, or black. And these were the two colors women liked most on men.

    2. It can determine our buying habits

    Supermarkets’ use of color has been mentioned in the introduction, and now you will see exactly how color affects our buying habits. First of all, the majority of your buys are based on the visual appearance of the product in question. You wouldn’t choose a damaged package over a brand new one, would you?

    Therefore, the physical appearance plays a big role in the retail industry. Moreover, most of the products are red because red “screams”. A product with a red label or packaging will grab your attention faster than any other product because it invites you to look at it.

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    This color works best on impulsive shoppers. Green, on the other hand, is the opposite. It is used in shops in order to relax the buyers. Green is often related to nature and the environment, hence the relaxing effect. Because of this relation to nature, many environmental organisations have a green logo, like Greenpeace, or the Animal Planet Channel.

    3. It can make us make healthier food choices

      As with everything in life, we choose food based on its look. If something is more colorful and bright, it will stand out in our field of view, and we will put all our attention on it. When it comes to food, colorful means healthy. Just think of fruits and vegetables. Each color has its own benefit. For example, orange foods (oranges, carrots, pumpkin) are rich with antioxidants. White foods (garlic, mushrooms, potatoes) are extremely good for your health because they have anti-inflammatory properties.

      Therefore, making your plate a rainbow of food colors is essential for your health. Try to include a fruit or a vegetable at least once per day. And more importantly, if you are a parent, include them in your child’s diet as soon as possible.

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      4. It can make us eat less

      How? Well, where do you usually eat? Probably your kitchen. What if I told you that the color of the kitchen walls, and plates, can affect your food intake. People who eat from red plates, eat less food. Additionally, white plates seem bigger than they actually are; therefore, no matter how much food you put on a white plate, it will seem like it’s never enough. So, white plates make you eat more. If you want to eat less, try blue plates, as blue can suppress your appetite.

      5. It can make us seem more aggressive and intimidating

      Certain shades can have a bad influence on our mood and state of mind. The colors that dominate here are dark ones. Black, navy blue, shades of grey – all of them look authoritative and intimidating. They create the illusion of seriousness and power. That’s why CEOs and other powerful people like wearing dark toned suits.

      Red, however, provokes aggressiveness. Something in our perception of red makes us go wild. Even though it can be a passionate color, it can also be aggressive and over-confident. For example, people who have red cars love to show off and think they have all the power in the world. Also, they attract a lot of attention, which only adds to this feeling.

      Just think of race cars or those classic supercars like Ferrari. They look best in red. When you see one, don’t you just want to jump in and immediately go 0 to 100? It makes your blood boil, doesn’t it? Making red cars was a great strategic move by Ferrari.

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      6. It can help soothe our minds and stay calm

      Meditation

        The opposite of aggression is calmness and peacefulness. Unlike the colors in the previous section, there are some that have a soothing effect on us. For example, the color blue. It represents the sky and sea, the elements that make us calm. Most bedrooms are painted blue for that exact reason.

        Moreover, a lot of office spaces are also blue because it’s believed that it awakens productivity. Another color with these properties is green. It symbolizes serenity and makes us feel close to nature. Additionally, yellow is thought to be an optimistic color. It can make us happy and stimulate our minds.

        These are just some of the biggest ways in which color affects our lives without us even realizing it. It’s quite interesting when you think about it, as a lot of animals don’t see the world of color that we have in our heads.

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        More by this author

        Ivan Dimitrijevic

        Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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        Published on May 18, 2021

        How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

        How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

        We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

        The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

        Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

        Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

        Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

        There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

        Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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        Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

        We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

        Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

        A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

        The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

        Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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        Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

        Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

        Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

        While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

        Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

        These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

        Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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        Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

        Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

        Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

        Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

        Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

        Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

        As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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        This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

        Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

        Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

        These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

        Actions Speak Louder Than Words

        Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

        Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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        Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

        More Tips Improving Listening Skills

        Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

        Reference

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